Six years ago a series of events changed much of what we took for granted at that time.
I was a Junior at Taylor University, working in the Dining Commons that Tuesday morning. I was one of the servers on the line and it was kind of like being in an isolated dungeon, not any real contact from the outside world. One of the cooks did have a radio on back in the kitchen and someone came out and told us "Bombs have gone off at the World Trade Center." I didn't think too much of it at the time and nothing else was really said for awhile.
Eventually the manager came down and told us that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. Now a little shocked and surprised, but we still didn't know the full extent of it yet. When I went to my 9 o'clock class everyone was buzzing about it and trying to get the professor to let us watch TV. I don't remember his exact words, but he said something to the effect of "We aren't going to waste our time watching TV, the world will go on."
After class I returned to my dorm and walking down the hallways every TV was turned to either CNN or FOX News and everyone was watching looped footage of the towers falling and the Pentagon. Needless to say, classes were canceled and prayer services were held on campus.
At the time I didn't really know anyone in the NY area, except one friend who took the semester off to work in NYC. We were able to contact him later in the evening or the next day to ensure he was fine. I remember we had cross country practice as usual, although we spent some time in prayer and reflection, but our meet on Friday was post-poned until Monday. I also remember people being worried about price-gouging and running out of gasoline and the idea that being in rural Indiana made us pretty safe from anything happening to us.
Taylor sends out several service/mission teams each January, due to 9-11 the Board decided that teams shouldn't go to majority Muslim countries. Fortunately, my trip to South Africa was unchanged. It was a little crazy being overseas and traveling so soon after that.
One final thing that I think about is, I never had the desire to really see the Towers, but when I visited NYC several times after and spent a year in NJ I feel like I'm missing something by not ever actually seeing them for myself. Talking with some of my friends in NJ, they said that one of the hardest things for them was to drive by the train stations and see all the cars that were still parked there. Each car represented someone in their community who didn't make it home on that dreadful day.
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts!